Hairy Boris Yeltsin promoted balding Vladimir Putin, who has now supported hairy Dmitry Medvedev as his preferred successor.
Acloser look at Russian history shows that the strange tradition ofhairy-bald succession worked also for those turbulent times wheninterim leaders replaced each other in kaleidoscopic succession. Duringseveral months of turmoil after the February Revolution of 1917, whichbrought down Nicolas II, and the October Revolution of 1917, whichinstalled Lenin in power, Russia was ruled by the ProvisionalGovernment. It was first headed by bald Count Lvov and then hairyAlexander Kerensky.
Another short interimperiod came after Stalin died and before Khrushchev came to power.There again bald Beria was replaced by hairy Malenkov.
ManyRussians believe that it is God that his playing with them. Some claim,for instance, that hairy Yevgeny Primakov pulled out of the 2000presidential race against baldish Mr. Putin because he did not fit intothe hairy-bald succession pattern and, therefore, had no chance ofwinning.
Adherents of the quirky bald-hairytheory say that Mr. Medvedev is assured of victory in the March 2presidential poll, not so much because he has the support of theincumbent President, but because he is hairy enough.